Are Out of the Box Resumes Really Landing People Jobs?

Every time you apply to a new job posting, you find yourself tweaking, editing and altering your resume hoping that the tactful touches will get you to the next round. However, lately, there’s been an increase of media attention on the out-of-the-box resumes that a select few of the job candidates on the market are taking the time to create.

Remember all the coverage Lukas Yla received after he spent his summer in San Francisco disguising himself as a Postmates delivery man to hand over his unique resume. The 40 donut-box resumes that he delivered resulted in some sweet results. His unique approach to landing a marketing job in the highly sought after Silicon Valley landed him over 10 interviews, but he has yet to receive an offer.

Most recently, graphic designer, April Hansen took her skills and created some personalized chocolate bar wrappers to distribute to potential employers. We’ve seen many portfolios and resumes turned into campaigns, infographics, 3D printed sculptures, candy, websites and computer games go viral in the last few years. Hiring managers are impressed by the creativity and the time that went into capturing their attention, but does the out-of-the-box resume become effective when landing a job?

One man was hired from his resume chocolate bar, but Alice Lee skipped four classes at UPenn to create a website/resume for Instagram,, which had 80,000 views within one week but did not get hired by the company. Another woman created a campaign for AirBnB and was later told there was no job for her at the start-up.

Although many hiring managers were impressed by the creative ingenuity of these candidates, the approach still did not land them a job or better yet their dream job.

Since her online resume did not get picked up by Instagram, Alice went on to produce work for some of the country’s top Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. She has received a plethora of recognition for her current work with Dropbox as a product designer. Many others have been able to maximize their viral CSV for opportunities outside of the roles they were vying for, but what went wrong when these creatives finally got the attention from their dream company?

There’s many things that could have went wrong after they scored their interviews that can be avoided with a little research.

Before you consider spending extra time and money to get the attention of hiring managers, think about the companies and roles you are seeking. Make sure your out-of-the-box resume translates with the company culture and the role. For example graphic and product designers might have a higher chance at landing a job with a unique resume than an accountant would. Also, make sure you can back up your creative resume with a stellar interview. It would be a shame to have spent all that time on getting the attention of a hiring manager, then later fumble during the in-person interview.

What lengths are you willing to go to land your dream job?

Originally published at Brittney Oliver.